Responses to Salt Stress in the Halophyte Mesembryanthemum Crystallinum

  • Hans J. Bohnert
  • John C. Thomas
  • E. Jay DeRocher
  • Christine B. Michalowski
  • Heimo Breiteneder
  • Dan M. Vernon
  • Wei Deng
  • Shigehiro Yamada
  • Richard G. Jensen
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 86)


The halophyte Mesembryanthemum crystallinum (common ice plant) has emerged as a model system suitable to advance our understanding of mechanisms that have evolved in a species adapted to harsh environments, characterized by drought and salt stress conditions. Here, we include a discussion of distinguishing factors of cellular and organismic responses to salt stress, the role of growth regulators, and a discussion of molecular and metabolic mechanisms employed by this plant for survival. Several mechanisms appear to be important, including acceleration of ontogeny, protection of the photosynthetic apparatus, the rapid induction of presumably osmoprotective substances, and the long-term establishment of Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM). Our understanding of the causes for tolerance and resistance towards abiotic environmental stresses, salt stress in particular, has been extended to include the transfer of functionally characterized genes from M. crystallinum into other plants. The use of transgenic plants will be an essential component of future work directed at the molecular dissection of mechanisms of transcription control, mRNA-stability and developmental competence in establishing salt stress tolerance.


Salt Stress Crassulacean Acid Metabolism Glycine Betaine Mesembryanthemum Crystallinum Halophyte Mesembryanthemum Crystallinum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans J. Bohnert
    • 1
  • John C. Thomas
    • 1
  • E. Jay DeRocher
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christine B. Michalowski
    • 1
  • Heimo Breiteneder
    • 1
    • 3
  • Dan M. Vernon
    • 1
    • 4
  • Wei Deng
    • 1
  • Shigehiro Yamada
    • 1
  • Richard G. Jensen
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Plant SciencesThe University of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.DOE-Plant Research LaboratoryMSUEast LansingUSA
  3. 3.Institut for General and Experimental PathologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  4. 4.Department of BotanyOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA

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